It's getting expensive…

We have never been keen on paying more than necessary when it comes to assembling the right parts for our systems, and we would not expect readers to be any different. That is unless you enjoy spending money for the sake of it. Discerning buyers know the difference between good deals and marketing hype; for those looking for more details, that's what we'll provide. In particular, the rising price of what could be described as "extreme performance motherboards" has garnered the attention and concern of more than a few gaming and overclocking enthusiasts.

Some have speculated that it was only a matter of time before the costs of these components finally caught up with the inflated pricing structure now shared by top-end GPUs and CPUs. Still others feel as if they are simply paying more today than ever before - and they would be right, especially on this platform that doubles the credit card crunch with DDR3 memory. What we may forget is the massive research and development costs associated with new product introductions are typically frontloaded when it comes to suggested retail pricing.

The last few quarters have played host to an unprecedented number of new product launches. Innovation and advancement have come at an ever-increasing, almost alarming rate - so much that we sometimes have trouble covering it all. In other words, more today than ever before, you are going to pay to be on the cutting edge of technology. With an MSRP of $399 the ASUS Striker II Extreme is no exception.



Just a small taste of things to come…

Does NVIDIA's newest 790i MCP really help the ASUS Striker II Extreme provide the significant performance boost needed to substantiate its almost exorbitant cost? Unfortunately, our response is not quite as straightforward as we would like - we can certainly tell you what the board is capable of, and assuming you are well versed in the black art of overclocking, what you can expect performance wise. What we cannot answer is whether this justifies the added expense. All we can say is that this is an expensive path. However, we will do everything in our power to provide you with the information you need to make this determination for yourself.

With the recent arrival of PC games like Crysis - and rest assured, we will see more releases in the coming months/years that are just as graphics intensive - technologies like NVIDIA's Quad-SLI and AMD/ATI's CrossFireX (CFX) may become even more important. Choosing a board that supports either one of these standards might be an important consideration to factor into your next motherboard purchasing decision. That said, assuming driver programming is up to par and multi-GPU performance scaling is acceptable, the ASUS Striker II Extreme promises to offer a gaming experience like no other at this time.

Join us as we take a closer look at its construction, layout, and standard feature set.

Index ASUS Striker II Extreme Board Layout and Features
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  • Rodriguez - Friday, June 20, 2008 - link

    Can anyone here indicate how to reach FSB 500 (2000) with Striker II Extreme & QX9770 C1, most I can get is 1900FSB.

    I've seen Kris reach this speed in this article & was eager to get to this speed as soon as I received my new CPU, but it has been more difficult than I thought, I was sure that if with my previous Q6600 G0 y could easily get 1900/1950FSB, now with QX9770 would be peanuts. The main reason I bought this CPU was to run 2000FSB linked & synced with Ballistix 2000 SLI.

    Please give all detailed BIOS setup options for this CPU if possible

    Nobody in Asus forum using this setup has been able to reach 2000FSB, but I have seen a few reviews (like Anandtech's) & posts showing it's possible

    By the way, memory has been tested unlinked at 2000Mhz 9-8-8-24, 1.9v P1/P2 Enabled & works great

    System:

    QX9770 rev. C1 3.2Ghz (watercooled)
    Asus Striker II Extreme BIOS 801, ver 1.02G (watercooled)
    PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1200W
    4 x 1GB Crucial Ballistix PC16000 SLI EPP2 , 2000Mhz 1800 8-7-7-24- 1T - 1.9v
    SLI Leadtek PX8800 Ultra Leviathan (factory watercooled)
    SLI Leadtek PX8800 Ultra
    Asus Physx card (removed)
    Dlink DWA556 PCIx Xtreme N Wireless card
    2x WD Raptor 150GB Raid 0 300GB
    1x Seagate 400GB Sata
    X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion
    24' Benq FP241VW Gamer
    Innovatek XXD Rev 2 + G-Flow water cooling
    CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 case
    Saitek X52 Flight system
    TrackIR 4 + Trackclip Pro
    Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit
    Reply
  • parkerdw - Tuesday, June 03, 2008 - link

    I used the same motherboard and cpu, but I liquid cooled it using the gigantic Kandalf Liquid Cooled case. My memory is different as well since I use 4 GB of Patriot Viper memory (2 x 2GB). Other than the memory settings in the BIOS, I set everything to match this guide. My system runs at 4.0Ghz and the cpu runs at no more than 88 degrees fahrenheit even while playing something like Crysis with everything set to Very High. Crysis runs between 35 and 60 fps on Very High on my system using a single 9800 GX2 at 1280 x 720. It's a HTPC connected to my older 56 inch DLP set via DVI, so I can't go any higher than that, but I fully expect to run great at 1080p when I get my new large screen set later this year. I don't have my bios settings in front of me, but setting everything to Auto for the memory works PERECTLY at 4.0 ghz. Pretty cool. I think it's running at 8,8,18 or so and 1.9v.

    Also, Asus just released a patch to the bios that fixes the data corruption issue mentioned in this artcle. Released on 5/29/08 I think.
    Reply
  • hardist - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    The water block seems to have leaking issues , I am wondering why it was not covered in this review since it is a major feature of this board ...... Reply
  • Heatlesssun - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    This is a sweet motherbaord! Now I've not overclocked the FSB, just bumped up the multiplier of my QX9650 from the default of 9.5 to 10, and I'm not running RAID. We shall see but I feel good. To get this up and running with Vista x64 in a day so smoothly was pretty good I thought. Reply
  • electricx - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    So this board is going for the aforementioned amount on newegg... The EVGA and the XFX 790i boards are going for $350... The ROG name carries that much of a premium? I mean, come on?! I'm sure ASUS will fix this data corruption issue and you typically do pay more for the privilege(?) of being a beta tester for high end hardware but $1000 over competing products seems a bit much... The EVGA board is looking to be a clear winner here to me. Time will tell I suppose. Reply
  • FightingEagle - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    After the second EVGA 790i and full of bugs I just sent it back. I was interested in the ASUS X48 and the 790i, but the 790i over $400 is hard to grasp. EVGA has good looking heat sink but not very good at cooling. I may wait for all the bugs to leave but as now im sitting on $320 dollars worth of DDR3 and a E8400. Reply
  • electricx - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    Edit: That should have been $100 not $1000 Reply
  • UK1Man - Sunday, April 13, 2008 - link

    Help please!!
    I'm currently in the process of building a computer but can only afford to buy a couple of parts a month, I have already purchased some DDR2 (1066) memory for an FXF 780 motherboard (not yet purchased) but am now considering the Asus striker II extreme.
    Will my DDR 2 memory work with this?
    Reply
  • seamusmc - Monday, April 14, 2008 - link

    This board/chipset, 790i, only supports DDR3. Reply
  • ianken - Saturday, April 12, 2008 - link

    Can it go into S3 suspend and come back out and have the NICs still work? The Striker 2 Formula cannot.

    Can the SATA controller handle hot swap? The Stiker 2 Formula and the previous 680i boards could not. The 680i bios even had an esata setting that did NOTHING.

    The latest crop of Asus boards, particularly the NV chipset rigs, have been pretty buggy and basic functionality has been borked.

    But hey, who cares of the basics don't work right? it's got a water block for X-TREME OVERCLOXORS! YO! VTEC!
    Reply

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